Democratic Republic of the Congo: Elections 2018

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will hold its long-delayed general elections on Sunday.

The Congolese government said it couldn’t hold the vote on time because it could not afford the $1.8bn bill needed for the elections.

The elections will be conducted nationwide, except three cities which are expected to vote in March 2019. 

Current President Joseph Kabila, 47, has been in power since January 2001, after his father, former President Laurent Kabila, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards.

Kabila’s second and final term in office ended two years ago, but he remained in power, thanks to a caretaker clause in the constitution. Observers are worried that he would try to stay on.

Deadly protests against his rule and pressure from the international community mounted until he recently announced that he will not be running in the election.

Twenty-one presidential candidates have been approved for the single-round contest. Voters will also cast their ballots for 34,900 candidates running for 500 national and 715 provincial seats.

More than 46 million people are registered to vote, the run-up to which was marked by deadly violence.

Fire destroyed about 8,000 electronic voting machines earlier this month, representing two-thirds of the total required for capital Kinshasa, according to the electoral commission.

The Congolese capital is home to about 15 percent of the electorate.

 

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